Politics

Ottawa shooting: MPs invite RCMP to 'publicly' show Zehaf-Bibeau video

MPs — and possibly the Canadian public — may finally get the chance to watch the video recorded by Michael Zehaf-Bibeau on the eve of his deadly attack on Parliament Hill.

Motion passed at House committee invites RCMP Commissioner Bob Paulson to appear 'at his earliest convenience'

A House committee is asking RCMP Commissioner Bob Paulson to come before it to 'publicly display and discuss' the video made by Hill shooter Michael Zehaf-Bibeau before he launched his attack. (Twitter)

MPs — and possibly the Canadian public — may finally get the chance to watch the video recorded by Michael Zehaf-Bibeau on the eve of his deadly attack on Parliament Hill.

During a closed-door meeting Tuesday morning, the Commons public safety committee adopted a motion inviting RCMP Commissioner Bob Paulson to come before the committee in future to "publicly display and discuss the video made by the individual who committed barbaric terrorist acts in Ottawa on Oct. 22."

While no date is set, the motion asks Paulson to make his appearance "at his earliest convenience."

It also includes a line affirming "the operational independence of the RCMP in conducting investigations."

CBC News has confirmed the motion was tabled by a Conservative MP, but because it was held in camera there is no record of which party supported the motion or if any opposed it.

CBC News has also learned the Liberals had already served notice of a similar motion, which was apparently superseded by the Conservative motion adopted today.

But while the motion explicitly invites Paulson to 'publicly display' the video at committee, committee chair Daryl Kramp suggested it might be presented during a closed-door session.

Confusion over whether viewing will be public

"Obviously, there’s some interest in seeing the tape that was obviously taken by the RCMP or by others during the incident," he told reporters following question period.

"So … a motion was put forward to see if they wanted to present that tape in camera."

He denied that the motion would result in the video being made public.

"That’s not part of the motion," he said.

"It was asked to be presented to an in camera committee meeting. "

New Democrat MP Rosane Doré Lefebvre, who also sits on the committee, acknowledged the next steps are not clear.

"For the moment, what was adopted by the committee was really for the commissioner to show us the video, and discuss it with us," she told reporters.

Speaking in French, she noted that it will always be "in the hands of the RCMP" to decide if it will be released publicly.

"For now, it's Mr. Paulson who manages that."

But she confirmed the motion says the testimony will take place in public.

Meeting could be televised: NDP

"For now, it will be a public meeting with the commissioner, so people should have access, and will be able to be in the room," she said. "I don't know if it will be televised — it depends which room will be available at the time."

She believes it's important to understand what happened, and what the RCMP learned from the video.

"And then, we will be able to have our own analysis of the situation. It will help us to have the best steps to ensure public safety, both in Parliament and in the country, in general."

The committee's next scheduled meeting is Feb. 24.

Appearing before a Senate committee a week after the shooting took place, Paulson said that he hoped to release the video "someday." But last December, he suggested that it might never see the light of day.

A spokesman for the RCMP declined to say Tuesday whether the commissioner would accept the invitation.

"We are aware of this motion and will not offer additional comment on this matter at this time," David Falls told CBC News.

A source familiar with the investigation told CBC News' Chris Hall that the video appears to show Zehaf-Bibeau making reference to Canada's foreign policy as motivation for his actions and that he praises Allah in the recording, which seems to have been made the day before the attack.

The complete text of the motion, as passed by committee:

It was agreed, — That, affirming the operational independence of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police in the conduct of investigations, the Standing Committee on Public Safety and National Security invite the Commissioner of the RCMP to appear before the Committee at his earliest convenience to publicly display and discuss the video made by the individual who committed barbaric terrorist acts in Ottawa on October 22nd .

Wirh files from Laura Payton

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